Grand Avenue runs through downtown Los Angeles, from the cathedral on the north side, past the Hall of Administration and the Walt Disney Concert Hall and Bunker Hill, down through the skyscrapers and eventually to the urban sprawl to the south. It's a major artery of the city.
Nearly every weekday, in the middle of rush hour, just past the quite busy intersection of 1st and Grand, one of the two northbound lanes is blocked. This wreaks considerable havoc, because that northbound lane leads from downtown to the entrances to the 110 and 101 freeways, two of the city's most traveled.1
The right-hand lane is typically blocked by a deputy Sheriff's car, lights flashing, just before the exit from an underground parking structure. That makes it even easier to exit that structure, which already enjoys a protected right-turn lane:
There are many places in Los Angeles where parking garages empty onto busy streets. Most of them don't even have protected lanes. Why is there a Sheriff running a traffic break to make it easy for people to leave this one every day at rush hour?
This is the Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration, seat of County government. The people whose right turn is protected are supervisors, their staff, and various county functionaries and their guests. Perhaps one of them complained that sometimes it's hard to turn right onto Grand and still get over to the left-hand lane before the next intersection. So now, every day, at taxpayer expense, a Sheriff's deputy runs a traffic break to make a protected exit even easier.
Yes, it makes congestion to the south considerably worse and makes the intersection at 1st and Grand more dangerous. But bear in mind these are important people.
I've complained about this for years, and it still bothers me.
- We designate our freeways with numbers and don't care if you think it is strange. ▲
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